Translations

Diasporas

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Today, more than ever before, people are moving out of their homelands for various reasons–economic, political, religious, academic, labor, government, and business, to mention a few. These people are voluntarily or involuntarily crossing political and cultural boundaries. Almost all the national and regional borders are affected by the ‘people on the move’. When there is a massive population shift, this phenomenon (ie diaspora) creates megacities (urbanization), diverse ethnic communities (multicultural societies/communities), and religious and ideological pluralism resulting in syncretistic beliefs or faith. Our world, in the 21st century, has gone beyond a ‘global village’ and is now a ‘global apartment’. This is a ‘borderless’ world where people are less restricted to a single location. In this global context, the Mission of God (Missio Dei) must be ‘to every person coming from everywhere’.

People are on the move as never before. Migration is one of the great global realities of our era. It is estimated that 200 million people are living outside their countries of origin, voluntarily or involuntarily. The Cape Town Commitment II-C-5

The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (Cape Town 2010) recognized the importance of diaspora missions and missiology. Consequently, many denominations and mission organizations are adjusting their structures, re-calibrating their strategies, and realigning their resources (personnel and funds) for effective delivery to help fulfill the Great Commission. Several seminaries such as Ambrose University (Calgary, Canada), Alliance Graduate School (Manila, Philippines), and Ukraine Evangelical Theological Seminary (Kiev, Ukraine), are now offering courses in Diaspora Missiology. More doctoral students are writing their dissertations on diaspora or migration related issues. Diaspora study is no longer restricted to the domains of history, economics, law, political, and social sciences. Today, it is exciting to see the fast emergence of diaspora missiology. Clearly, the Lausanne Movement has catalyzed the academy, the local church, and the marketplace.

The Global Diaspora Network or GDN (www.global-diaspora.com) under the Lausanne Movement was founded on 20 October 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. In March 2015, GDN will conduct a global diaspora forum of up to 500 missions scholars and practitioners from all four corners of the globe to address the mission to, through, and beyond the diaspora. The desired outcome of this working forum is three-fold:

  • To produce a compendium as a new resource to accelerate the study of diaspora missiology in theological institutions around the world.
  • To explore ways to bring about diaspora church growth in the practice of diaspora missiology.
  • To create a new synergistic network of ministries, local churches, and institutions to accomplish the above two objectives.
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